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B&W Z2 AirPlay Dock and Wireless Speaker Review

by May 09, 2013
B&W Z2 Review

B&W Z2 Review

  • Product Name: Z2
  • Manufacturer: B&W (Bowers and Wilkins)
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: May 09, 2013 20:40
  • MSRP: $ 399
  • Buy Now

Bowers and Wilkins Z2 Specs

Model

Z2

Description

Wireless Music System

Technical features

Apple® AirPlay® technology
Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
High Quality Class-D amplifier
Switch mode power supply
Flowport™
Remote control

Drive units

2x 87.5mm (3.5”) full range

Frequency response

50Hz - 20kHz ±3dB on reference axis

Frequency range

-6dB at 42Hz and 22kHz

Amplifier power output

2x 20W

Input voltage

100V - 240V ~ 50/60Hz

Rated power consumption

36W

Standby power consumption

<0.5W

Inputs

Network (RJ45 Ethernet or Wi-Fi)
Auxiliary - analogue (3.5mm mini jack)

Height

180mm (7”)

Width

320mm (12.6”)

Depth

100mm (3.9”)

Net weight

2.6kg  (5.7lbs)

Enclosure

Glass filed ABS

Grilles

Metal

AirPlay compatibility

iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with iOS 4.3.3 or later, Mac with OS X Mountain Lion, or Mac and PC with iTunes 10.2.2 or later.

Dock compatibility

iPhone 5, iPod touch (5th generation) and iPod Nano (7th generation).

Pros

  • Great styling
  • Small package
  • Big sound
  • IR remote and on-board controls

Cons

  • Compression and high volumes
  • Limited bass output
  • Lightning connector dock only works with newer iOS devices

Introduction

Over the last ten years, iPod docks have become ubiquitous, with offerings from ever major (and not so major) manufacturer and at every price point imaginable. However, over the last couple of years, AirPlay speakers have started to encroach and take their place as the iPod dock 2.0, so to speak. B&W has answered this call with their Z2 iPod dock and AirPlay speaker. The Z2 is B&W’s newest, smallest, and least expensive iOS-oriented product to date. A far cry from their original Zeppelin in terms of price and size, the Z2 is aimed at consumers demanding form as well as function. At $399, it isn’t a budget product, but falls nicely under B&Ws other offerings. For those keen on great looks and small size, the Z2 might just be your best friend. Read on for a full review

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About the author:

Cliff, like many of us, has always loved home theater equipment. In high school he landed a job at Best Buy that started his path towards actual high quality audio. His first surround sound was a Klipsch 5.1 system. After that he was hooked, moving from Klipsch to Polk to Definitive Technology, and so on. Eventually, Cliff ended up doing custom installation work for Best Buy and then for a "Ma & Pa" shop in Mankato, MN.

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Recent Forum Posts:

Cliff_is posts on May 10, 2013 17:40
internetmin, post: 967749
I have to tell you that I've never been enamored with all these dock offerings. However, this unit from a price/performance POV does make me take a second look. It's pretty compact, easy to place, and sounds pretty good–and it has airplay. I took a pretty in-depth look at this at one of the Apple Stores in CA.

And what was your impression after you looked/listened?
internetmin posts on May 10, 2013 10:08
I have to tell you that I've never been enamored with all these dock offerings. However, this unit from a price/performance POV does make me take a second look. It's pretty compact, easy to place, and sounds pretty good–and it has airplay. I took a pretty in-depth look at this at one of the Apple Stores in CA.
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